Natural gas

Natural gas
   Russia is the world’s leader in natural gas production, easily outstripping its closest competitors, the United States and Canada. Each year, the country produces 654 billion cubic meters of natural gas, or more than 20 percent of global output. Of this, 173 billion cubic meters are sold abroad, making Russia the leading exporter of the product. The country also leads the world in proven reserves, with 44.6 trillion cubic meters (one-quarter of world totals). In recent years, the Kremlin has pushed for the creation of an OPEC-like cartel for natural gas, bringing together the countries with the largest reserves (Russia, Iran, and Qatar); accounting for more than half of the world’s reserves, these countries regularly meet to discuss pricing and supply-related issues.
   Gazprom holds a monopoly on extraction of natural gas. In Russia, major fields are found in eastern Siberia, the East Siberian Sea and Sakha, around the southern Urals, and in the Barents and Kara seas in the Far North; the Shtokman Field in the Barents Sea promises to generate 3.8 trillion cubic meters of gas in the future. In the Russian Far East, Sakhalin-II, a major liquefied natural gas project, has just been initiated. With the European Union functioning as the primary market for exports, the principal pipelines (Yamal-Europe and Blue Stream) cross European Russia, including transmission routes bringing gas from Turkmenistan to Europe. This transshipment bottleneck, combined with Gazprom’s desire to charge market prices to countries in the near abroad, has led to severe disputes with Belarus and Ukraine in recent years, occasionally resulting in gas shortages to customers farther west, which are highly dependent on Russian exports. As a result, new routes are planned or currently in development, including a Baltic Sea route (Nord Stream) and a Black Sea pipeline (South Stream). A new route from the Kovykta field in eastern Siberia to China and other East Asian markets is also under consideration.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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  • natural gas — atural gas n. The combustible gas found associated with petroleum deposits, and also in other geological formations, comprised predominantly of methane plus variable other constitutents. It is an important source of energy, and is transported… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • natural gas — n [U] gas used for heating and lighting, taken from under the earth or under the sea …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • natural gas — noun uncount * a gas that is found inside the earth and that can be used for heating or cooking …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • natural gas — ► NOUN ▪ flammable gas, consisting largely of methane, occurring naturally underground and used as fuel …   English terms dictionary

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